Aimee Sala, 42, of Eagleville, opened Aim High Studio in Montgomery County in 2011. At the fitness center, you can catch a yoga class or a “pretty tough boxing” session. But fitness enthusiasts can also expect to find at least three events a month that benefit not just members’ health, but the greater community’s, too. Past classes, for example, have been devoted to supporting the Methacton Education Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, and Girls on the Run. Sala has also partnered with Jake’s Dragon Foundation, a pediatric cancer-research nonprofit, to host an annual fund-raising push-up contest that lasts throughout the month.
“I get that good feeling, just like other people do when they do something good for others," said Sala. "I don’t think it’s anything special — I just think it’s what you’re supposed to do.”
“Aim High” is a tribute to Sala’s mom, Irene Coshin, who passed away in March 2014 of cancer, and served in the Air Force. Not familiar with the branch’s slogan? It’s “Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win.”
“My mom encouraged me to surround myself with people who are good, who serve, and who have a greater purpose in life than themselves,” Sala said. At Aim High, “we surround ourselves with amazing people and then support others who come to the studio through the fitness classes.”
Most people have plenty of opportunities to exercise alone throughout the day, Sala said, but she encourages those looking for connection with others to head to Aim High, where about two dozen instructors lead classes.
“I don’t really remember the last time an app gave me a high five," she said. “ ... We connect people in a smaller, more intimate setting, support them and help lift them up.”
The studio helps recruit volunteers for a local soup kitchen, but also runs its own of sorts, Sala said. On the last Sunday of every month, the studio invites others to serve a meal to those in need, at Dimension Community Space in Phoenixville.
“It’s healthy to be kind,” she said. “The exercise part is how we are able to do all this: It gives people the strength — from yoga and all of our fitness classes — and ... the confidence they need to serve others. That is our message. Big time."